Annual Jonathan Daniels’ pilgrimage will be next Saturday

Published 8:35 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

The annual pilgrimage honoring slain civil rights advocate Jonathan Myrick Daniels and others who were killed in Alabama during the 1960s movement, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 12, beginning at 11 a.m. in Hayneville.

Jonathan Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian who answered the call of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help register African-American voters in Alabama. He was shot and killed on Aug. 20 1965, while shielding then 16-year-old Ruby Sales from a shotgun blast as she attempted to enter a store to buy something to drink.

Daniels was added to the Episcopal Church Calendar of Saints and Martyrs in 1994 to be remembered each Aug. 14.

The pilgrimage begins at the Courthouse Square in Hayneville. The procession will go to the old county jail where Daniels was among those detained for a week after being arrested in Ft. Deposit for picketing whites-only businesses.

The procession will then move to the site of the old Cash Grocery Store where Daniels was killed.

The pilgrimage will end at the courthouse, where a service of Holy Communion will take place in the courtroom where the man who shot Daniels was tried and acquitted by an all white jury of men.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Bernard LaFayette, a civil rights movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer and an authority on the strategy of nonviolent social change.

LaFayette was a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. He was a leader of the Nashville movement lunch counter sit-ins in 1960 and the Freedom Rides in 1961.